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Debate Night in America

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CNN

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Us 14, America 13, Romney 13, United States 7, Colorado 7, Florida 4, Ohio 4, Denver 4, Jim Lehrer 4, John Kerry 4, Phillips 3, David Axelrod 3, Obama 3, Jim Acosta 3, China 3, Jessica Yellin 3, Erin Burnett 3, Erin 2, At&t 2, Massachusetts 2,
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  CNN    Debate Night in America    Series/Special. New.  

    October 3, 2012
    10:30 - 12:00am EDT  

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determination, is channeled and they have an opportunity to succeed. everything getting a fair shot and fair share. everybody is doing a fair share and playing by the same rules. you know, four years ago, i said that i'm not a perfect man, and i wouldn't be a perfect president, and that's probably a promise governor romney probably thinks i've kept. i also promised i would fight every single day on behalf of the american people, the middle class and all of those striving. i've kept that promise, and if you will vote for me, then i promise i'll fight as hard in a second term. >> governor romney, two-minute closing. >> thank you, jim, mr. president. thank you for tuning in this evening. this is an important election, and i'm concerned about america. i'm concerned about the direction america has been taking over the last four years. i know this is bigger than an election about the two of us. as individuals. it's bigger than our respective
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parties. an election about the course of america. what kind of america do you want for yourself and our children. there are two very different paths we began speaking about this evening, and over the course of this month, we had two more presidential debates and a vice presidential debates, they lead in very different directions and not just looking to our words to take evidence of where they go. you can look at the record. no question in my mind, if the president is re-elected will you see a middle class squeeze. i will get incomes up again. you will see chronic unemployment. 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. if i'm president, i had create -- help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. the president is re-elected. obama care will be fully installed, i think that will mean a whole different way of life for people who counted on the insurance they had in the past.
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premiums will go up $2,500 per family. if i'm elected, we'll put in place the kind of principles i put in my own state, and each state will craft their own programs to get sured, and we'll get cost cares down. if the president were elected, you will see 4 million people who will lose medicare advantage, hospitals and providers that will no longer accept medicare patients. i'll restore the $716 million to medicare. and military, if the president is re-elected you will see dramatic cuts. the secretary of defense said this will be devastating. i had not cut our commitment to our military. i had get america's middle class working and keep the military strong. thank you, jim. >> thank you, mr. president. the next debate, the vice presidential event on thursday, october 11th at center college in danville, kentucky. for now, from the university of denver, i'm jim lehrer, thank you, and good night.
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[ applause ] >> they started off with a hahn shake and smile. wound up with a handshake and smile and meeting their respective families at the end of the 90-minute debate. the president actually spoke for a little more than four minutes more than mitt romney spoke, 42:50 for the president. 38:32 for mitt romney. a pretty good night for mitt romney. expectations were so much higher for the president that he would come out swinging, but mitt romney clearly held his own, and all of the various issues, they went back and forth. we didn't hear some of the attack lines from the president, so many of us were expecting he would be making.
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never heard him mention anything about the 47%, the controversial remark that mitt romney made in boca raton in a closed-door fund-raiser, didn't get him into the history at bain capital, exporting jobs. none of the issues of tax returns. spoke about the most important issues, economy, jobs, and all of what's going on. we're going to watch a scientific poll that we're doing right now to get the reaction of what's going on, and we're going to see what that scientific poll says about who won this debate. we also had a focus group watching of independent voters, undecided voters who were there watching what was going on as well. mitt romney there with his family and some close associates, he seems to be pretty claesed with the performance that he did. as i said, candy, let me bring in candy crowley from the university of denver, watching all of this going on. he held his own with the president of the united states and for a republican challenger,
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facing an incumbent. that's pretty good. >> yeah, you know, if the first test of this kind of debate is can the challenger stand toe to toe with the sitting president, with the incumbent, certainly i think mitt romney looked as though, seemed as though he passed that test. it was a -- a pretty substantive debate. i don't know that we learned a lot knew, those of us watching this so closely, but the american people just now tuning in heard a lot. you have to wonder a little bit whether terms like dodd-frank, simpson-bowles, a little preknowledge about what those were, whether that went over some folks' heads. i think the two of them gave a clear indication of where they differ. i think you're right, certainly i think that plitt romney will be very claesed with the night.
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you look at the twitter verse, some democrats think the president seemed a little listless here. certainly when you think about it, mitt romney needed to come in here and make an impression. we'll see in the days ahead whether he did. but certainly i can assure you in the spin room right now, republicans are making the case that he did, in fact, make that impression. anderson. >> no doubt about that. reaction already pouring in. and we'll be taking the temperature of a lot of different groups over the next hour and a half. we have our analyst and reporters and cnn contributors. a quick reading right now. john king, david gergen. >> look at e-mails, conversations during the debate. twitterverse, republicans very happy, including the top team around mitt romney. liberals complaining about the president's performance. without a doubt, participating in republican primary debates helped mitt romney, the president was rusty. hasn't done this in four years.
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that's not an excuse as james said earlier. the obama campaign says that mitt romney doesn't care about your job or your community. we didn't hear anything like that from the president. romney at least held his own on the big questions of the economy and role of government. if you are the challenger and hold your own, you walk off the stage happy. >> critics of the president say he's two proffesorial. i think they'll say that tonight. >> and more. we have a horse race. mitt romney's performance was head and shoulders than anything we've seen before. >> you think this was his best debate? >> he drove this debate far more than anyone else imagined. mitt romney seized upon the opportunity and set the standard for it i think the president -- i didn't think he was rusty, as i don't think anybody has ever
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spoken to him like that over the last four years, and i think he found it not only surprising, but offensive. looked like he was angry at time. i think overall, you have to say -- to my surprise, i had not expected this. i think mitt romney won the debate. >> you thought there was a moment that mitt romney was particularly strong. i'll play that and then we'll talk about it. >> i just don't know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table, and spend his energy and passion for two years fighting for obama care instead of fighting for jobs for the american people. it has killed jobs. and the best course for health care is to do what we did in my state. craft a plan at the state level that fits the needs of the state and then let's focus on getting the costs down for people. >> mitt romney several times taking the fight to president obama. rarely did president obama take the fight to mitt romney.
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>> he wouldn't really engage with mitt romney. mitt romney would take him on on every issue, including the question of health care in massachusetts. you know, he didn't back away from it. to me, what's interesting about mitt romney this evening is that he's a very different mitt romney from the one we all watched during the primaries, the one we watched during the primaries was combative very often, without smiling, sometimes awkward, you know, tonight i think he sort of had it all together, focused on the president -- >> you agree his best debate performance? >> absolutely. >> i think mitt romney rose to a moment tonight, in a way frankly surprised me. this is a man that benefited from a zillion primary debates, very comfortable in his own skin in that debate tonight. and the president was almost condescending at first, like i can't believe i'm having to explain all of this. i think halfway through he caught himself, and he probably
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remembered that somebody said i shouldn't be dismissive. and started smiling, much more accessible. >> it did seem the president was trying to contextualize itself in a way that didn't lend itself to a debate. >> is ve professorial, getting into facts and figures as if you don't understand. romney, of all people, who has not yet in this campaign, not the great communicator, not really told stories about what this means to people, threw out some things. trickle down government. now there is something to push back against how the obama plan. i thought there were some effective moments. best moment of mitt romney's campaign, just like bill clinton was the best moment of barack obama's campaign. >> i had one overwhelming impression. i did everything i could not to reach it, but it looked like romney wanted to be there and
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president obama didn't want to be there it seemed like romney was happy to be there obama gave me the impression that the whole thing was kind a lot of trouble. i don't know -- you cannot -- you know, go ahead. i do not know -- and what we don't know, again, we have to think of what the judges think. i'm not sure that the aggressiveness and everything else how that sits overall with people, i'm not sure, but i do think romney had a good night. i think he wanted to be there. i think he knew he needed this, and i think obama gave the sense he wasn't happy. >> i have to go to wolf right now. >> hold on for a moment. right to the spin room in denver. they are spinning already. the supporters of the respective candidates. jim acosta standing by. jessica yellin. to you, have you senator rob portman, the individual who helped mitt romney, played the president of the united states in the debate preparation sessions. >> that's right. senator rob portman from ohio is
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with me. have you been prepping mitt romney for the past several weeks. what is your assessment of the night? did the preparation pay off? >> jim, a terrific night for mitt romney. for the undecided voter in ohio, they were looking for two things, one, a discussion about the record of the last four years, and why we can't afford it for the next four. and most importantly, talked about his own policies and set the record straight on some of the misleading ads that the obama campaign has put out about his tax plan, budget plan, health care plan, so on. he did exactly what he had to do for undecided voters, really pleased with his performance. >> what about the line from the president that mitt romney has not offered enough specifics? and if the specifics were so great, he would be revealing them? do you think the governor has to start revealing specifics, at least to the next debate? >> criticizing for knowing too many specifics, including sometimes by president obama and
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his campaign, with his 56-point plan. he has the plan boiled down to a plan thattic has a lot of sense. he is offering a way forward. the tax plan alone will gain 7 million jobs, it's pro-growth and this is analysis looked at by economists right, left, and center over the years, you need to reform the tax code to grow the economy. president obama has had four years to do it, hasn't done it. and mitt romney will do it day one. >> senator, i think you may have earned yourself as permanent sparring partner preparing for debates. >> thank you. >> candy, we didn't see any big takedown, body-slam moments during this debate. but i was told before this debate got going, preparation pays off. that's the message from the romney campaign tonight, candy.
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>> i think you're absolutely right, jim. for the talk about the one liners and zingers and this and that. did not hear anything that sort of stuck out as, boy, they were waiting to put that line out there i want to bring in jessica yellin, also in the spin om, i know you are there, with a top adviser in the obama campaign. it would be -- it will be interesting to note. as you know, the initial impression is the president seemed listless, angry at times, seemed like he didn't want to be there. would love to know what the obama campaign is saying. >> that's right, candy. i'm here with stephanie cutter, deputy campaign manager for the obama campaign, and was also a staffer inside the white house. you know the president well. stephanie, let me ask you, plainly, where was the passion we see on the campaign trail from the president. why wasn't it there tonight? >> we came here with a specific purpose and told everybody what that was, to have a conversation
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with voters about his specific plans to move this country forward and he did that tonight. and i think he scored point on balanced deficit reduction plan and how he would do it. holding wall street accountable and how he would do it. health reform plan, and i think that mitt romney, yes, he absolutely wins the preparation. he wins the style points. that's not what is dogging his campaign. what is dogging his campaign, the policies he doubled down on tonight. let's talk about the tax cuts. he signalled over the last couple of days, details about how they would pay for it they didn't put out details, they backed away from it. they are not being honest with the american people. you know what's worse? he got testy about it, being on defense and i think that came across to the american people. >> the president seemed to get testy at one point when he was interrupted by jim lehrer. will the president do more debate prep before the next debate, prepare differently.
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do you think he didn't take this seriously enough? >> we feel good about the president's performance here tonight. he wasn't speaking to the people in the room, the pundit class, but people at home. i think what people heard tonight was a plan forward, a detailed plan on how we'll rebuild the economy and strengthen the middle class. another guy that got testy, interrupted the moderator. i wondered if we needed a moderator since we had mitt romney. and someone doubling down on the very same policies that crashed the economy in the first place. he talked to the american people about his plan to voucherize medicare. talked to the american people about his plan to repeal wall street reform, but couldn't name one single regulation on wall street. how he doesn't have a $5 trillion tax cut, which he is campaigning on for 1 8 months. >> thank you, stephanie cutter. candy, you get a since of the
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obama campaign's response there. the message from the obama team is mitt romney, not delivering enough specifics. we knew going in that was an idea they might come out of the debate. sure enough, we're hearing it tonight, kahne. >> jessica yellin from the obama campaign's stephanie cutter. that's why they call it the spin room. wolf. >> kahnca candy, you heard step cutter take a swipe at jim lehrer. you know who the next moderator will be. that will be you. give me your impression, your sense of what happened tonight from a moderator's perspective. we saw the president got four extra minutes in the course of this debate over mitt romney. >> i think, you know, he's in the arena, there is -- and i
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salute anybody in there, both the candidates as well as the moderator. jim has been around a long time. i'm not sure about the minutes. in the end, this debate is brought to you by these candidates, and to me, it's better to hear from the candidates than to hear from the moderator. generally folks that felt their guy lost the debate might want more time or less. if you look back at other debates jim has done, he tries to engage candidates who are really unwilling to engage each other at time. the president wouldn't look at mitt romney, seemed to be this they didn't want to go and talk to each other and jim is one of those always very intent on trying to get the two of them to talk to one another to try to explore those differences. >> the president clearly looked irritated on several occasions during the 90-minute debate.
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candy, stand by, expert team of researchers, producers, reporters, have been busy figuring out if the candidates are telling the truth in tonight's debate. john berman ready with the first reality check on the claim that mitt romney wants a $5 trillion tax cut. >> we knew this was going to be a big issue. dominated the beginning of the debate. president obama, on the attack, saying mitt romney pitching a huge tax cut for the rich. >> governor romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the bush tax cuts, another trillion, and another $2 trillion in military spending that the military hasn't asked for. >> let's look at the facts. mitt romney does propose a tax cut. under that plan, taxes on the wealthiest americans would be reduced by $5 trillion
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initially. romney said he would offset that by closing loopholes and reducing reductions. if you take him at his word, our verdict, mitt romney would cut taxes by $5 trillion, the verdict here is false. but there is more it to this. i want to turn to the deficit. mitt romney claims with these tax cuts, he will not add to the deficit. >> my number one principle is, no tax cut that adds to the deficit. i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. part one. so there is no economists can say mitt romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion. my plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. >> look at the facts here again. mitt romney has not laid out specifics for how he would pay for his tax cut. he says its by reducing deductions and closing loopholes, but hasn't said which or how many. so the verdict here is simply in complete. we just don't know, wolf.
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>> he also suggests repeatedly, john, that by improving the economy, there would be a dynamic scoring as they call it more revenue coming in, because more money would be coming into the taxes, businesses and individuals could be doing better. as a result, he's justifying the trillion dollar tax cut if you will. >> hence the grade incomplete. >> he hasn't offered a lot of details on deductions, loopholes, exemptions he would go away with as a result of across the board tax cuts. john, we'll check back with you at the top of the hour, and a much closer look at how much time each cof the candidates spoke. how much they talked on the issues that affected them the most. a group of undecided colorado voters, did they hear anything that helped them make up their minds. finally, a scientific poll across the country right now, we're asking debate watchers, those who watched the debate to
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tell us who they think won. we're asking other questions. stand by for that poll. you'll see it, hear it, right here first. anderson, a lot to assess right now. >> i want to check in back with carly fiorina, and van jones. >> we saw stephanie cutter admit that romney won this debate. he clearly won it on demeanor and facts and specifics actually. obama kept accusing him not having facts and specifics and romney had loads of facts and specifics. what is great, he connected those to real people in real people's lives. i totally agree with james, president obama looked like he didn't want to be there, and romney looked energized and focused. i think he won this lands down, i truly do. >> van, do you agree? was the president completely rusty? >> we said this guy has to run a
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country, romney had a lot of time to figure out how to basically run his mouth. here is the problem we have honestly. this is a man who will say anything to get elect. that's the wrap on romney, if you are willing to say anything as he did, you can do very well. here is my problem, the etch-a-sketch has emerged. he says he is caring about poor people. behind closed doors he says 47% of americans are moochers. >> you are the only one that brought that up tonight. >> he is sitting up on the stage. getting a lot of advice tomorrow. >> looks like a pretty reasonable guy. >> let's look at what romney said. basically, i'm trying to figure out where the specifics are. balance the budget by cutting out big bird, i couldn't figure out exactly where else he was going to kuchlt the offshore tax
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cut doesn't exist. well, nobody knows more about offshoring jobs than mitt romney. >> president obama has sent out billions of green energy jobs to china. >> and you said the president, no one was surprised -- plenty of openings where president obama could have talked about bank hold negotiation the cayman islands. >> romney did a great job at things you didn't expect him to do he was a great story teller, he was able to connect. i give him credit for that. the problem i have, he is doing it in the way we feared he would do it. somehow he will be magically able to do all of the tax cuts and balance the budget. no way to do what he says he is going to do. >> he said corporate jets. he said oil, offshores. >> in the bucket. >> go back to my original thing.
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just got the sense the president would prefer to be somewhere else. i agree with you completely. he has to make those points. jim lehrer, he let those guys freelance and go back and forth, and he did not -- the president didn't bring his "a" game tonight. >> fair enough. >> look, don't let me get too gassed up. >> none of that. >> agree james on a couple of points. he worked with bill clinton when bill clinton was trying to unseat an incumbent president. are you asking the american people to remove him. governor romney said we know the path we're on, and it's not working. it's not just the voters,voterst states. somebody in ohio told me about the trouble they are having, somebody in denver pulled ann
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aside. he was trying to tie in personal stories with people who live here. in these states we have gold on the map. that's how we will tell the next few days what the true judges think. and they are the voters and especially the voters in the swing states. does the polling in colorado, for example, does it move. this one very close right now, a dead heat, in recent days, the place romney needs to move the most, the state of ohio, almost impossible to see mitt romney winning the presidency in ohio. a five, maybe six point lead. the thing we need to watch over the next few days, does this move the polls in the swing states here? and, wolf, as you go into the vice presidential debate. camp on in. the vice presidential debate, then two more, the key challenge, without a doubt. governor romney will give energy to republic i hadi hads. the question, can he move the
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numbers in battleground states. it will be interesting to watch post debate advertising, resource allocation, i want to switch maps for one second. come up and look at this. here's what we know coming into the race. the tv ad counts this is -- a little confusing when you look at it first. pull out one state. colorado, the blue is the obama campaign, lighter blue, democratic pacs. pinkish red, the pro-romney pacs. why are the democrats spending more? trying to hold this state. why are republicans spending more, trying to catch up. very fascinating to watch after debate number one. how does it reset the battle, and watch the resources, catch the campaigns, ad spending, the first act of the final month and it will change things. >> we've studied history. covered races, when you have an incumbent president, and a stroll challenger comes in, and
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stands toe to toe. than an incumbent president, whether it was bill clinton versus george h.w. bush. when the incouple beumbent does the challenger does well, they get a boost in the immediate days ahead. >> the challenge for governor romney. it will be interesting to see how the voters score this one. the president is personally popular, even among undecided voters, soft obama supporter who's say i'm not sure about the economy, auto not sure he is a good economic leader. governor romney has to make the case against a man that say popular leader, and to make the case, the point he wanted to make, ahe's a nice guy, hasn't been able to create a job. is governor romney as specific about how he would create them?
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that's an open question. without a doubt. you look at the reaction left and right. just about everyone is scoring romney the president. >> the president clearly on the defensive. let's talk about swing states. we've seen a tightening in florida and in virginia. not necessarily so much in ohio, but the magic number is 270. walk us through the next 4 1/2 weeks or so. >> let me close the loops so i don't confuse anybody. a decided advantage of 270. an easier path. i won't call it easy. the bigger of the battleground states, if they are gold on the map. governor romney has to win ohio. no challenger ever won without that. the next prize, 29 electoral votes in florida, governor romney needs those too. that puts him back in play. the inclination.
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that they need to get ohio. if you score it like that. this is how it would be. very close to the en. only, wolf, only if governor romney can get the big ones first. ohio is the most important for romney, likely florida next, and very interesting to see how the first debate, if the first debate changes the dynamic in the key battle grown ground. the coverage continues right now. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. we're here in the election center for a come rehprehensive at the first presidential debate. in the hour, we're releasing results in the polls of debate watchers, who they think actually won tonight. our reality check team, headed
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by john vermin and tom forman pore through candidates' answers, and they caught several things you want to hear. and erin burnett one decided voters in colorado. she'll ask if tonight's debalt helped them make up their minds. we're watching all of this. the first presidential debate in the history books. tonight, just like we will after every upcoming debate, we're breaking it down, issue by issue. this means more talk from the candidate on a particular topic. looking at some of the totals, we'll show you what's going on. but, first, here are some of the highlights from the first presidential debate. >> what things would i cut from spending? first of all, i will eliminate all programs by this test. if they don't pass it. is the program so critical, it's worth boring money from china to pay for it? obama care is on my list.
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o i apologize mr. president. jim, i'm sorry, i had stop the subsidy to pbs. i love big bird, like you too. but i won't keep on spending money to borrow money from china to pay for. i'll take programs that are currently good programs but could be run more efficiently at the state level and send them to state. and make government more efficient, cut back the number of employees, combine agencies and departments, cutbacks done through attrition by the way. this is the approach we have to take to get america to the balancedbudget. >> i put forth a budget plan, it's on a website, you can look at the numbers. the way we do it $2.50 for every cut, we ask for $1 of additional revenue, paid for as i indicated earlier by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit.
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governor romney earlier mentioned how the bowles-simpson commission. that's a bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it. in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. and this is a major difference that governor romney and i have. >> let me finish this point. you're looking for contrasts. when governor romney stood on a stage with other republican candidates for the nomination, and he was asked, would you take $10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue, and he said no. >> substantive debate on the major issues facing the country right now. right now, dmes issues, economic issues, health care, taxes, the nation's debt. got into the weeds in some areas, but this was a very, very important debate. anderson cooper watching this with all of our analysts as
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well. >> fascinating to see both men on the stage for the first time. you saw a difference in terms of temperament in debating style. i want to bring in gloria boerger and david gergen. even president obama's final statement didn't think like he had a final statement, other than i'll keep working hard which mitt romney seemed more prepared. >> it was sort of flat to me. >> you noticed a big difference in terms of male and female viewers. >> i noticed a lot of things. if mitt romney were going to use president obama's words, likeable enough at this debate. i think he was. and the things i noticed on the dial tests as i was watching, when president obama spoke about health care, women were up, men were down. when mitt romney spoke about health care, you saw men up. one thing about mitt romney,
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that he did very well, he seemed to tie everything back to creating jobs, and that's what he needs to do well on to win this election, everything, health care, everything else was about job creation. >> i think we had a big upset tonight. 2-1, the american people thought the president would win, he lost. mitt romney came prepared to play, drove to debate. i don't think the president has been talked to like this over the past four years, and i think he was so surprised that romney was just sort of plat out lying, never proposed a 20% tax cut. we've been hearing that a lot. and i think that threw him off his game. it propels all of his campaign into the next debate. mitt romney could have gone down and this race would have been over. now we have a horse race on our hands. >> do you think democrats will hire rob portman for debate
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preparation? >> the ads in the campaign, so negative, and so nasty. t i expected president obama to start bucking about bain capital, 47%. >> never debate on your anniversary, an important lesson. it just doesn't seem to work. the big change, president obama running ads in the swing states about this terrible person mitt romney who wants to eat babies and throw granny in the snow. just terrible. that guy didn't show up. america met a guy with very calm, presidential dem temperament. as a matter of fact, snis interchange with president obama on a lot of things. >> including his anniversary. >> very comfortable in your living room as president. >> it will be interesting to see, because we all believe that governor romney had a good night. interesting to see what the poll numbers do.
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>> i expect them to, if not, we have a real problem. second thing, we should not forget this, he literally threw his whole tax plan your honor the bus. the -- as a followup. there is another debate, everything tomorrow, there is more shows, more everything, and i think the democrats are really, really going to jump on this. i never proposed any such thing. >> you're expecting team obama to go hard tomorrow. >> i think team obama knows what happened tonight. i don't think -- but i also think that this is the way this campaign works out. what happened tonight will play out clearly through the weekend to the next debate. so we should be a little -- little temperament in terms -- >> what do you think -- >> let us enjoy a good night. >> one of the things i thought was really interesting about the debate, including, of course, the fact that romney won it and everybody knows it, including
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obama's campaign energies, romney seemed like he understood the issues better than obama did. it was striking to me when romney said, for example, well, yes, president obama, i agree with training, but there are 47 different programs and 8 agencies and that cost as a lot of money and we need to conso consolida consolidate, and by the way, your support of green energy is costing $90 billion. he did a masterful job of showing he knows the issues. >> let's see what viewers thought, next. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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our expert team of producers, research and reporters, they have been very busy, trying to figure out when the candidates were telling the truth in tonight's debate. john berman with another reality check. >> medicare a bit topic for some time. mitt romney made the claim that president obama is going to make cuts that affect people on the program today. >> what i support is no change for current retirees and near retirees to medicare and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program. >> he also used other language in his program, saying obama wants to cut $716 billion. this one checked and checked again. medicare will still grow, it will just grow more slowly, a reduction of growth by $716 billion, and a lot of the money coming out of medicare advantage, not money for
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beneficiaries, the verdict here is with the language mitt romney uses the verdict is false. i want to talk about health care in general. president obama says good news about health care cost premiums. >> over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up, it's true, but they've gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years. so we're already beginning see -- >> let's look at the facts. medicare premiums did increase 4% from last year so there is growth here. the head of the kaiser family foundation, an authority on the matter, says growth is at historic lows. not sure if it's lower than 50 years, which is what president obama said, but growth still slow, the verdict, this appears to be true, but we'll follow up with the kaiser family foundation on the 50-year claim. >> what else surprised you tonight? >> i think the president just didn't seem like he wanted to
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debate romney. again, never mentioned 47%, meaning mitt romney's critical, awful, remarks about obama supporters,er er inever mention capital. he never said that i'm the guy that can create jobs and said that massachusetts was 47th of 50 states. >> you think he wanted to look presidential? wanted to let the campaign do it? >> if he did, said i'm ahead, i want to stay above the fray, that's a strategic mistake. >> van. >> when they say he wants to have a conversation with the american people, i think he thought he was going to go and have a conversation with the american people. i think i took romney too lightly, he didn't expect romney to be able to throw that kichb heat. and he was able to out obama obama on the connection piece,
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authenticity piece, on the ability to tell the story. and i think they had the wrong strategy. the idea you will get here, be able to have a conversation and be treated like a town hall format with nobody else there, sets you up for failure. >> vi don't think anybody would have adviced barack obama to go in and play defense. sometimes when you get into office, you're president of the united states, you are there to defend. let romney play offense all night. >> they have run a very good campaign thus far. i don't think president obama did what this campaign wanted him to do. let's not go overboard here. it will be like a big sort of push back. okay, fine. i understand. i'm saying, that in the same campaign, same guy that did this well leading up to it.
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my point is this. president owe w president obama came in to have a conversation. mitt romney came in with a chainsaw. trying to talk to a chainsaw. >> with all due respect -- no due respect. just say you what you have to say. >> fine. here is what i believe. president obama out on the campaign trail. run a good campaign, but speaking to the faithful and no one has challenged him. romney comes up and challenges him on every fact, every specific and most especially romney challenges wi s him withs and specifics on president obama's own record. did it very effectively. >> romney -- romney -- >> let's leave it there without due respect. this could be a big debate about romney's facts. >> can i say something -- >> obama had none. none. >> we watched mitt romney during the primaries, his worst
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moments, and there were many, were when he was challenged whether it was by rick perry or whoever. he wasn't challenged tonight. the obama people may have been waiting for sort of a moment when mitt romney would be caught offguard, but their guy didn't -- didn't dig at him and that might have prompted an error on romney's part. he's not good when things get awkward. >> my experience with presidents is during the first term, they are surrounded by people who are pretty sicophatic, are you the greatest president ever or just merely one of the greatest. it is so expected to have somebody come and challenge you sharply. but i have seen presidents who sort of reverse themselves. >> you think we saw the results of being in a presidential
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bubble? >> not the first incumbent to have a bad first debate? >> and a very strong second debate. >> we'll watch that. wolf. >> rob portman, senator from ohio played the president in the preparation for mitt romney. getting a lot of credit tonight. john kerry played mitt romney for the president. not hearing so much with john kerry. we'll check in with that. both candidates threw around big numbers, our own tom foreman joins us with a reality check? >> this is the dominant feature of the entire election, jobs, jobs, jobs, and the first issue these candidates lit into tonight. listen. >> over the last 30 months, we've seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry has come roaring back. and housing has begun to rise. >> they are suffering in this country. and we talk about evidence, lock at the evidence of the last four
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years, he is absolutely extraordinary. 23 million people out of work. >> you heard the fundamental claim there. the president said he claimed 5 million jobs, mitt romney says not so much. in 2009, this is what the country looked like, everywhere you see a brown state, they were losing jobs in the first full year of barack obama's presidency. unemployment, 10.6%, but three years passed, we saw increases in retail, health care, education, and look at the map today. every state that becomes lighter in this picture is a state where there was an improvement in the unemployment rate over that period of time. i will tell you there, ray great many of them out here. the unemployment rate for ohio, changed 7.2%. lock at the massive change in the country in terms of the
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improvement in terms of states that are no longer losing jobs, but now making jobs. to make that happen, the bureau of labor statistics says you had to have a lot of job creation. 4.4 million jobs created. what you don't hear so much about, we lost 4.3 million jobs in the dark days. the net gain according to the net record, is only 125,000 jobs. based on that even though the president did create a lot of jobs, when you look at that, look at the extent of his claim, 5 million jobs created, we have to say that's simply false. i know many democrats will say that's because the bush years and the economy that's left. the numbers simply don't add up the way the president would like them to. wolf. >> mitt romney made a strong claim, 23 million people out of
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work. does that number hold up to scrutiny? >> that number bears scrutiny, wolf. we have about $51,000 is the median income in this country. let's bring uply tos to talk about how he would come up with such a number. this is roughly what everybody in the country is making. low wages, mid wages, high wages. look what happens when the recession began. everybody lost jobs, but the low-wage jobs lost less, and when everybody started coming back, look what happened. the low-wage jobs came back more, where mid wage and high wage didn't do so well. so we lost better paying jobs than we got back. part of what mitt romney is counting. unemployment, people have given up on looking, people with part-time jobs who would like to be full time. and counting people underemployed. like barack obama he is taking generally okay numbers and stretching them to the breaking point and that makes his claim
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also false, wolf. >> bottom line, what is the bottom line when it comes to jobs, the whole issue of the facts of the jobs issue. who benefits the most? >> well, once he pushes out the up and down, everything else, absolute unemployment rate, and it's a fact for a president to get re-elected with a high unemployment rate. all of the presidents re-elected since the 1950s and relative unemployment rates. dwight eisenhower, 4.1%, richard nixon, 5.6%. ron aeld reagan, 7.5%. and bill clinton, 5.1%. second george bush, 5.4%. and then look at barack obama down here. 8.1%. a whopping number for any president to carry into a re-election campaign. barack obama made history when he got elected the first time. if he gets re-elected, that will
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also be historic, because no president has done it since franklin roosevelt in the fading days of the great depression. >> a new jobs report coming out friday morning for the month of september. we'll see what those numbers are, what impact it winds up having. anderson, back to you. >> thank you, wolf. and the hologram, tom foreman. david, to your point, presidents in the past who had a bad first debate performance came back strong, how do they retool? do they practice more? >> the most famous case, president reagan in 1984, lost the first debate, people thought he was is he nisenile, that he care, he came back. nobody is more competitive than president obama. he will be back in the room, saying, guys, we're not doing this again. >> the question, what happens.
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and the next is a town hall. different format. >> ready to release results. a poll, register voters who watched the debate tonight, we asked them who won the debate. look at this. 67% say it was mitt romney. 25% say it was president obama. a very, very decisive verdict from this poll that we just took, a scientific poll, registered voters who actually watched the debate. 67% say it was excellent night for mitt romney, he won the debate, 25% for the president of the united states. barack obama. very consistent with all of the various reactions from the left and right so far, a very good night for mitt romney, not very good for the president of the united states. >> those poll numbers are telling. >> in polarized america, for any candidate to get above 50% are
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huge. 45%, 43%, solid republican. >> are those undecided voters? >> registered voters who watched the debate. a lot of president's supporters say he got spanked tonight. >> it tightens -- what this means, it's likely as we saw in 2004, when john kerry won the first debate, that the polls will tighten a bit, and -- but it also means to me that the obama campaign can't press the delete button fast enough on this debate and they will go out there and they will erase it. and they will go on the attack and they are very good at doing that, and the president can be good at doing that. it may get him back on his game. >> may not change the numbers very quickly. but it does prompt a lot of people to do, i need to take a second look. >> and you raised the point about money he was leaving, or
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trickling, lessening to mitt romney. this changes that. >> a lot of buzz that high-dollar contributors, financial supporters, this is not looking so good. let's keep an eye on the first debate and see if we should stay in the game. mitt romney got a big boost tonight. tomorrow night, we'll see a lot of people step up and fund the campaign. >> we just heard from the american people in our poll, registered voters, haven't heard from undecided voters. we'll hear from the focus group, when we come back. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac. introducing the all-new cadillac xts.
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we're getting ready to hear from the undecided voters of the focus group in colorado who were listening, watching what was
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going on. erin burnett out there. we'll hear what they had to say. did this debate change their minds? are they ready to tell us who they will support for president of the united states? will be significant. we'll stand by to hear from the focus group. first presidential debate as you know is in the history books, breaking it down for you minute by minute. issue by issue. bigger tiles mean more talk time from a candidate. president obama, speaking 42:50 tonight, more than 4:00 longer than governor romney, there on the right in red. top throw issues as determined by the clock. and our political experts, using best judgment to categorize what the candidates say. number one for obama the economy, 10:49. number one for rom snow, also the economy, 9:08. the president had health care as
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his second issue, namely, obama care. the challenger, it was the budget and taxes. president obama spent the third most time talking about budget and taxes, about a minute less than governor romney. romney's number three issue was health care. big differences when you drill down. take a look at energy, president obama spent 19 section 9 secon energy. governor romney, 1:43 seconds. when asked a question about education, he pivoted to energy. 2:17. president obama devoted 4:15, almost twice as much. watching this very closely. anderson, back to you. >> john king locki inlooking cl the flash poll numbers. you have numbers on the economy. >> they asked the question, who would better handle the economy? let me scroll down. clear in the poll, the overall
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verdict to governor romney who won the debate. who better to handle the economy, obama 43, romney 55. the defining question of the election. >> compared to where it was before? >> we have to be careful this is registered voters who watched the debate. in our most recent national poll, they were tied on that question. >> vaughan jones, you said something about changing -- you saw a different romney tonight. >> up until now, to me, you look at romney, think thursdayston howell iii, right? not presidential. seems to be sort of all over the place. tonight, he's presidential and tonight for people who were losing steam on his side, think think they got a big shot in the arm. the other side of it, the fact checkers are going nuts.
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social media people are coming back and saiding hold on, this is not true, that is not true, $90 billion. it wasn't $90 billion in tax breaks. $90 billion for parks, land restoration. i think tonight his side is enthusiastic, they should be, he did well, but i think they will have a paul ryan affect tomorrow. more of what he says gets taken apart. >> obama had no facts, there are no facts to check on his side. >> you just made a case by winning you actually lost. i think most of the times when you win you win. i think over the next few days rich sorry to interrupt. a big flash poll update. wolf what are we getting? >> the results now from our scientific poll of debate watchers across the country. we asked among other things, who did the debate make you more likely to vote for? 35% said mitt romney.
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18% said president obama. 47% said neither. we asked who said seemed to be the stronger leader. 58% said romney. 37% said obama. and debate watchers also asked who is more likeable? likeable? 46% said romney. 45% said president obama. let's candy crowley in denver. have you you have a special guest. a top adviser, david axelrod. but it looks like our poll, 67% said romney won the debate. only 25% said the president won the debate. and look so many more people thought that they were going to vote for romney as a result of this debate as opposed to the president. these are good numbers for
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romney. not such good numbers for the president. >> right, wolf. david axle rod, senior adviser to the campaign. what happened? >> i don't think you can measure these debates on instant polls. >> let's measure it by democratic standards. >> let's finish. we don't want to have a debate here let me just finish. governor romney laid down a series of positions and you and others will be following this tomorrow. so will the american people. he does have a $5 trillion tax plan, no plausible way to pay for it $2 trillion in pentagon spending, no plausible way to pay for it. he took the position that he made with the republicans saying he wouldn't accept $1 of new revenue to help solve our deficit program, even on the very wealthy. turned medicare to a voucher
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program. >> you know, this is -- there could be something else tomorrow, heaven only knows, tonight it's a debate. democrats said what happened to president obama? why didn't he show up? seemed listless, didn't want to be there. and mitt romney seemed like he showed up to play, and the president bought his "c" game. what is going on here? >> i wasn't surprised governor romney gave an energetic performances, he has been practicing since june and he's a very good debater, particularly on the attack. we can have atheater of the mom. >> does it matter? >> if you lay down a series of positions troubling to the american people, no matter the package they are wrapped in, it only exasser bates the problem you have. so anybody undoubted mitt romney has a poucher program now knows.
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anyone that notes he will not budge on his plan not to ask the wealthy to contribute one more dollar, they know. >> the president had the chance to make that case, and you get on the flash poll, you're right. we'll see what happens going forward. bumps from the convention, we'll see what happens. but you look at that flash poll, people who watch this thing, when you -- all the way down the line, advantage romney. who would you rather have hanel the economy. an economy, romney by a huge margin. medicare, all the way down, so it just seemed like the president didn't respond in a way, that folks -- everybody went into the debate suspecting he would win. >> i was very candid. the challenger always -- always, always, always gets the bunch with the sitting president. they are on the stage with the president, toe to toe, much has been written about that. we knew that.
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and we knew governor romney has been practicing, reherselfing lines since june for this. >> and you know you also get another one. will i see you october 16th? >> i'll be there. >> me too. >> wolf being back to you. >> candy will be moderating the next presidential debate. jim acosta with a special guest, marco rubio who supports mitt romney. must be pretty happy. >> that's right, wolf. we had senator rubio listen to david axelrod's comments. we heard him say let's not get caught up in the theater of the moment. i'm guessing from your vantage point, it was a good play tonight. >> the only one more frustrated than barack obama is david axelrod. i think it's clear, barack obama pretty uncomfortable talking about taxes, the budget, jobs, the most important things in america. that's what he's uncomfortable about. he doesn't understand the american free enterprise system,
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how it works, number two, probably doesn't believe it in the way mitt romney believes in it. and has a terrible record. look at the jobs, unemployment rate, the suffering of the american middle class, buried as joe biden reminded us. the policies of barack obama. he turned to the moderator and asked him to change the subject. let's move on to something else. we're not going to move on to something else. this is the issue of the moment. >> at one point during the debate, governor romney acknowledged his plan is basically a voucher program for medicare, and i'm curious how that will go over in florida. >> he acknowledges for current beneficiaries, people on it now or about to retire will have the exact same medicare they've always had. he said for future generations like paul ryan, like me, when we retire, we'll get subsidy support from the government. it will match the level of medicare. if we want to stay on regular
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mode care, we can do that, or we have a choice. go out and buy private medicare. if you are very rich, my generation, you have to pay a little more. it's a machine to save medicare. where is the president's plan to save medicare? >> the president would say his plan would not to go with the romney/ryan/rubio approach. >> that's fine. what is his approach? where is his plan to save medicare? it's going to go bankrupt, not just for my generation, but for my mom. what he is doing about it, other than taking $700 billion out of it. >> all right. we just lost that connection. but we'll try to reconnect with jim acosta and senator marco rubio and also about to see the highs and lows. ratings for the candidates from our focus group of undecided voters, we'll hear from them as well. also, you can see the debate
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again in its entirety, in just a little bit. stay with us. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] at&t. the nation's largest 4g network. now covering 3000 more 4g cities and towns than verizon. at&t. rethink possible.
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we have more results that have come up in from our poll of registered voters cross the country who watched tonight's debate. we asked who would better handle the economy. look at this. 55% said governor romney. 43% said president obama. we also asked who would better handle health care. 52% said romney. 47% said president obama. we asked who would better handle taxes? 53% said romney. 44% said president obama. we asked, who would better hanel
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the nation's deficit, 57% said romney. 41% said president obama. we asked, who agrees with your views about government? that was the question we asked. 54% said governor romney. 44% said president obama. anderson, looks like a clean sweep on all those respective questions for governor romneyory president obama. >> wolf, are you clear who these voters are? republicans democrats? >> registered voters, republicans, democrats, undecided. people called, scientific survey. we wanted to make sure they watched the debate. not all registered voters, not all likely voters, these are registered voters who watched the debate. >> you are getting the sample you get. you call after the debate.
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our sample of debate watchers, a sample of people watching the debate. registered voters. a few point more republicans than a typical sample of all americans. a few points, not a large lead. a few points more republican, so some people say, a-ha, 67/25. romney still trounces on about every characteristic. it shows debate watchers give romney a convincing victory. we need to be fair and say slightly more republican sample than the poll we will take next week. >> the interesting thing we were talking about during the break with james is that while on the issues that wolf just mentioned, mitt romney did better in this debate when we asked debate watchers their opinion of president obama before the debate, after the debate, favorable, unfavorable, unchanged essentially, and the
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same for mitt romney, unchanged. mitt romney, 55% favorable. high for him. so while they may have believed mitt romney won the debate, the question is whether it chaz changed their attitude toward mitt mitt romney. >> first of all, that sample i think we'll find out that sample was more than just a few points more republican. i have never seen a poll like that. the second thing is, you got to say the idea is that you moved the needle to favorability. -- 65% said he won it. and if you look at the issue of distinctions in a sample that seemed to me to be a few points more republican, i'm now -- and people say, yes, he won the debate. everybody here says he won the
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debate. i'm not sure if the payoff will be that huge. >> we don't know the payoff yet. one way or the other. the sample sounds like it's skews. but it's worth noting that cbs took a poll tonight of undecideds, and had 2-1 romney winning. we have two polls out there. we'll see what happens. john kerry, some people thought he won all three debates and not the election. >> undecideds? how can cbs do a poll of undecideds? >> we have to go to our focus group. we're almost out of time, wolf. >> let's take a closer look at the focus group of undecided colorado voters and how they reacted. we measured their reaction. the green line represents the men.
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the yellow line represents women in the focus group. president obama's best moment of the night. it happened near the top of the moment of the debate. talking about investments in america. listen to the president make a case in his opening statement. >> i think we've got to invest in education and training, new sources of energy in america. change the tax code to help small businesses and companies investing in the united states. that we take some of the money we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild america, and we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make critical investments. >> let's take a look at one of mitt romney's best moments in the debate. peeked with both men and women at 10:16 p.m. asked about the role of government. listen to romney's high point. >> i believe we must maintain
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our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. that statement also says we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness as we choose. i interpret that as one making sure those who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared for by one another. >> let's bring in erin burnett. tell us what's going on over there? >> all right. this has been a pretty interesting night. everybody listening, and i was looking over. little dials going left and right. left and right. undecided group of voters, wolf. they didn't like it when either candidate got negative or stomped on the moderator, but they did react in particular to those two moments. overall takeaway of the moments that scored high. romney had more of them in the audience of 39 undecided voters than barack obama let's talk about mitt romney's strength.
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first of all, how many of you rated hum a stronger leader. and that was one of the areas where mitt romney really stood out. let's ask karen ren sick a question. an unemployed voter, trying to make up your mind. when we heard that high moment from mitt romney, it stood out to you, why did it? >> i was surprised president obama did not stand out more and stronger in this. when mitt romney said the things he said, especially leaning back and showing the constitution and the bill of rights and it just really struck in me, yeah, this man could really help me in the job market and our economy. he stood out as a stronger candidate to me. >> did he stand out as someone that connects with you personally in a way he hasn't so far? >> yes, from the 's, i thought he was much more aloof than he appeared tonight. >> let's get to some of the lows, wolf. there were a couple of moments
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that our focus group reacted negatively to. >> the low points in the debate for president obama and governor romney, let's begin with the president first. 9:18 p.m. eastern, when he was talking about taxes but seemed to tau a dig at governor romney. men and women both rejected the president's argument. watch. >> for 18 months, he's running on the tack plan, and now he's saying his big, bold idea is never mind. and the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough loopholes and deductions to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. >> that was the president. the lowest moment according to the focus group in colorado. governor romney's lowest point,
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halfway through the debate. 9:43 p.m. eastern, when he talked about cuts to entitlements. >> but on medicare, for current retirees, he's cutting 7$716 billion from the program, but not overpaying hospitals and provider, we will reduce rates you get paid across the board, everybody getting a lower rate. that's not just going after abuse, that's cutting the rates. 15% of hospitals and nursing homes won't take more medicare patients under that scenario. >> erin, what do you make of that? >> real frustration here. and i think you can all agree, when you got negative, oh, gosh, i hated this, hated that? fair description? you were frustrated when you heard romney talking about the $716 billion. >> it got to.
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it was the only number he threw out. i have a small business, and i don't have health insurance. you throw out in number that will affect me at some point, but because you have a number to give as opposed i don't have a figure to get you from, have you been working at state level, not federal. >> frustration there. and i wanted to come over quickly to carroll ward, you're a teacher, you were frustrated when barack obama was attacking mitt romney? >> yes, i was frustrated the president didn't seem to listen to romney when he was giving his plan, and he just kept sticking on that $5 trillion and the $2 trillion, and not listening is one of the biggest things that is a problem in this debate and in this election. >> one final thing, i wanted to make a point that everyone felt. how many of you felt that you wished you got more information from the candidates that they didn't fully answer the
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questions. everybody. that's something that stood out here and people were saying afterward they wanted more information from the candidates something, that stands out. a final point for all of you here. how many of you changed your mind as a result of this debate? a few people that did, and have to say overall, wolf, when you look at the winner, most people come out undecided, but five now here thought barack obama was the clear winner, and 16 thought mitt romney was the clear winner of the debate. >> ask them, i don't know if they can hear me, erin, asked them if they are now inclined to vote for mitt romney and a show of hands who is inclined to vote for the president of the united states? >> i would like to do that, but i promised i wouldn't, wolf. i didn't want to put their faces on camera associated with an actual person or vote. i can tell you, at the end of this, eight of them say they are going to be switching from before, so when it comes to the
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actual vote it appears even, in terms of who was a clear winner, it did sway in favor of mitt romney. >> thank you very much. when erin makes a promise, she delivers, no doubt about that. thank you very much. and thousands of you went to our facebook page to grade the candidates. we'll have results. may surprise you, when we come back and we'll replay the debate in its entirety. ♪
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thanks to all of you who went to our facebook page to weigh in on the debate. more than 28,000 graded candidates.

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